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10 Best Decibel Meters of 2020

10 Best Decibel Meters of 2020

best decibel meters

If you’re looking to protect your hearing against high-decibel sound, we’re here to help! 

We sent our research crew out to find the best decibel meters currently available on the market and have concluded that these are the 10 best meters based on price, decibel measurement range, accuracy, and portability.

For each meter we will detail all the features that make each one a great choice.

See our Buyer’s Guide below for more information on choosing a great sound meter.

Here are our top 10 picks of the best dB meters so you can protect your hearing every day.

OUR #1 OVERALL BEST CHOICE

Extech Digital Sound Level Meter

Extech 407730 Digital Sound Level Meter 40-130dB

  • Accuracy +/–  2dB

  • Easy-to-read digital display

  • Hand-held, portable

  • Records maximum and minimum values

GREAT VALUE

BAFX Products Decibel Meter

BAFX Products - Decibel Meter/Sound Level Reader - W/Battery! (Advanced Sound Meter (w/Software))

  • Accuracy +/–  1.5dB

  • Data storage so you can review readings

  • Runs on easy-to-find AA batteries

  • 1-year warranty

Why Customers are Buying Decibel Meters

Any hearing professional will tell you that when it comes to hearing loss, an ounce of prevention is worth years of cure.

Most professionals say decibels above 85 can be dangerous to your hearing. (For comparison, a conversation is usually at about 60dB; a lawn mower is 90dB.)

The sound meters we reviewed all had upper ranges in excess of 125 decibels. A loud rock concert is around 120dB, so these choices should more than cover your needs.

We’ll have more information on choosing the best decibel meter in our Buyer’s Guide below. Meanwhile, here are our top 10 picks.

View the 10 Best Decibel Meters Below

 #1

Extech 407730 Digital Sound Level Meter 40-130dB

Extech 407730 Digital Sound Level Meter 40-130dB

The Extech 407730 definitely does it all. Shaped and sized like a TV remote, it’s easy to carry along. Response time is quick, with accurate readings, verified reviewers say.

The 407730 has a host of tech-forward features. The large LCD display screen is easy to read. It self-updates every 40 seconds so you know your reading is exact. Accuracy is within 2 decibels. All in all, the Extech is a great buy.

Main features of the Extech 407730 Sound Level Meter include:

  • Accurately measures 40-130dB sound levels
  • +/–  2dB accuracy with 0.1dB resolution
  • Auto power-off; Max Hold function
  • Digital display + analog bar graph

Bottom Line

It’s easy to see why customers are raving about this dB meter. Buyers say they take it to the workplace, to outdoor concerts and anywhere it’s important to monitor sound levels. The look is attractive; it’s similar to a cordless landline phone. At just 7 oz., it’s super-portable.

The Extech runs conveniently on three AA batteries. It’s backed by a limited one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Why We Like It

  • Accuracy +/–  2dB

  • Easy-to-read digital display

  • Hand-held, portable

  • Records maximum and minimum values over time

Our Rating

 #2

BAFX Products Decibel Meter with Software

BAFX Products - Decibel Meter/Sound Level Reader - W/Battery! (Advanced Sound Meter (w/Software))

This amazing little meter gets two thumbs up from hundreds of happy customers. Not only does it accurately measure dB levels, it has software to analyze the data it collects. (Note: the software is for Windows only.)

All of these great features come at a surprisingly low price point. Accuracy is within an impressive 1.5dB. Internal storage capacity is 4500 data points. You’ll need to grab your own USB hookup for this model.

Main features of the BAFX dB Meter include:

  • Measures 30-130dB sound levels
  • Analysis software (for Windows) + handy travel case
  • Accuracy to +/–  1.5dB
  • Measures in both dBA and dBC

Bottom Line

The BAFX meets all your needs at a very comfortable price point. It also comes with its own carry case, including an area for extra batteries (AA).

The decibel meter measures 30-130dB on the easy-to-read digital screen. It comes with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects. Verified reviewers say they take this model everywhere.

Why We Like It

  • Very accurate sound level measurement

  • Data storage so you can review readings

  • Runs on easy-to-find AA batteries

  • 1-year warranty

Our Rating

 #3

Galaxy Audio Live Sound Monitor CM130

Galaxy Audio Live Sound Monitor CM130

The Galaxy is a comfortable 8” long so you can take it with you wherever you go. It includes four sound ranges and detects dBA and dBC frequencies. This means a better range so you get your most accurate reading.

Verified reviewers say they use it from everything from monitoring roadwork sound levels to calibrating their home entertainment systems. The frequency range runs from 125Hz-8KHz.

Main features of the Galaxy Audio Live Sound Monitor include:

  • Measures 8” (hand-held)
  • Four sound ranges
  • Detects dBA and dBC frequencies
  • Uses easy-to-find AA batteries

Bottom Line

The Galaxy is a handy tool to have with you wherever you go, verified reviewers say. It’s portable and is easy to operate. It accurately detects sound levels to help protect your hearing.

Use it either at home, in the workplace, or out at a concert – anywhere you need to know just how loud things are getting. The slim and attractive model conveniently runs on two AA batteries.

Why We Like It

  • Slim model that’s easy to hold in your hand

  • Accurate dBA and dBC measurements

  • Low cost

  • Perfect for both home and professional use

Our Rating

 #4

REED Instruments R8050 Sound Level Meter Type 2

REED Instruments R8050 Sound Level Meter, Type 2, 30-100 and 60-130dB, +/-1.4 dB Accuracy

This was one of the most accurate decibel meters we found. It measures to within 1.4 dB so you know exactly how loud your environment is.

The decibel meter has a sleek look and is hand-held for portability. The LCD display is backlit so it’s easy to read in any environment. The electric condenser microphone picks up fine differences in sound levels.

Main features of the Reed Instruments R8050 Sound Meter include:

  • Accuracy to +/–  1.4 dB
  • Dual range measurement (High or Low)
  • Backlit LCD display
  • ½” condenser microphone for high accuracy

Bottom Line

This nice-looking decibel meter is among the most accurate we found for personal use. It includes dual range measurement, a condenser mic and an easy-to-read display.

The model picks up on a frequency range of 31.5Hz to 8 kHz. It comes complete with a windshield ball, battery and a handy case so you can tote it along.

Why We Like It

  • Highly accurate readings (to within 1.4dB)

  • Measurement is easy to read in LCD window

  • Hand-held; portable

  • Includes windshield ball, battery and carrying case

Our Rating

 #5

VLike LCD Digital Audio Decibel Meter

VLIKE LCD Digital Audio Decibel Meter Sound Level Meter Noise Level Meter Sound Monitor dB Meter Noise Measurement Measuring 30 dB to 130 dB MAX Data Hold Function A/C Mode

Highly precise and easy to carry along, the VLike has a lot to like. It includes little extras that add up, such as an anti-slip design and a backlit LCD display.

The VLike offers features including Data Hold and A/C mode; customers like that the dB meter offers a more complete experience than some other meters. It’s a small, totable 7.5” long.

Main features of the VLike Digital Decibel Meter include:

  • Backlit LCD display
  • High-precision noise sensor
  • Measures 30-130dB
  • Anti-slip design so you can hold it easily

Bottom Line

You get amazing measurement precision at a very low cost with this model. Check your environment for noise from 30-130dB.

Verified reviewers say they take this decibel meter along to work, music concerts, areas of high road traffic, airports and factory environments.

Why We Like It

  • Great anti-slip design so you can hold it easily

  • Tech features including Data Hold and A/C mode

  • Sponge cover on mic

  • Low price point + high quality

Our Rating

 #6

Pyle PSPL25 Digital Handheld Sound Level Meter

Pyle PSPL25 Digital Handheld Sound Level Meter with A and C Frequency Weighting for Musicians and Sound Audio Professionals

Here’s another cost-effective, high-performance option. The Pyle PSPL25 is a favorite among verified buyers because it offers loads of options without going over-budget.

This attractive hand-held model measures sound at an impressive range. Choose High to measure 60-130dB or Low for 30-100dB. You’ll get a reading to within just 1.5 decibels. The PSPL25 operates on one 9V battery.

Main features of the Pyle PSPL25 Digital Sound Level Meter include:

  • Low (30-100dB) or High (60-130dB) choice
  • Hand-hold size (9”)
  • Accuracy to +/–  1.5dB
  • Operates on one 9V battery

Bottom Line

We know looks aren’t everything, but this really is one heck of a high-tech looking model. It fits easily in the hand and has an oversize mic for an accurate sound measurement every time.

Try the Max Hold and Data Hold functions. You’ll also appreciate the auto power-off to save battery life. (It comes with one battery to get you started.)

Why We Like It

  • 9” long; portable

  • Powers off automatically to save battery life

  • Lightweight; weighs just 7 oz.

  • Accurate digital readout

Our Rating

 #7

Rispero Decibel Digital Sound Level Meter

RISEPRO Decibel Meter, Digital Sound Level Meter 30 – 130 dB Audio Noise Measure Device Dual Ranges HT-80A

Verified reviewers (more than a hundred of them at the time of this review) agree: the Rispero is an amazing bargain for a high-performance dB meter.

Use it in any environment where you’re worried about sound levels. It measures to within +/–  1.5 decibels. The Rispero features Max, Min and Hold settings. It’s lightweight and portable, and it’s economic enough to keep one on hand and one in your car, customers say.

Main features of the Rispero Digital Sound Level Meter include:

  • Measures 30-130dB
  • Accuracy to +/–  1.5dB
  • Records max and min + has Data Hold feature
  • Foam-covered mic

Bottom Line

A low price point is always great; accuracy is even better. This model puts these together in one handy, sleek-looking decibel meter.

This sound meter comes with a sleek-looking carrying case. It operates on one 9V battery. It’s all wrapped up in a box that’s suitable for gift-giving, according to verified buyers.

Why We Like It

  • Hand-held, portable

  • Very accurate noise level readings in a variety of environments

  • Comes in attractive pouch for gift-giving

  • Very low price point for high quality + performance

Our Rating

 #8

Meterk Digital Sound Level Meter

Decibel Meter,Meterk Digital Sound Level Meter, Range 30-130dB(A) Noise Volume Measuring Instrument Self-Calibrated Decibel Monitoring Tester(Battery Included)

The Mertek measures sound accurately so you know when to protect hearing, according to the manufacturer. Customer reviews support that the Mertek is a great choice for personal or work-environment use.

This decibel meter comes complete with a mounting hole for a tripod. Verified reviewers say it’s lightweight and easy to carry along. And the large-size LCD display is easy to read even in low lighting.

Main features of the Meterk Digital Sound Level Meter include:

  • Measures 30-130dB with +/- 1.5dB accuracy
  • Backlit LCD digital display
  • Min, Max and Data Hold functions
  • Self-calibrated decibel monitoring tester

Bottom Line

This economically priced model certainly doesn’t skimp on options. Verified customers say they appreciate the accurate readings they get with the Meterk Digital.

The meter has an auto-shutdown feature, or manually turn it off by pressing and holding the button. The mic is wind-resistant so you get an accurate measurement no matter what conditions you’re in.

Why We Like It

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Very accurate readings in a variety of environments

  • Self-calibrating tester

  • Auto/manual shutdown to save battery life

Our Rating

 #9

Tacklife Digital Sound Level Meter

TACKLIFE Decibel Meter, Digital Sound Level Meter Range 30-130dBA, Max/Min/Hold Data, Fast/Slow Mode, LCD Backlight Display/Flashlight (9 V Battery Included) - MLM02

The Tacklife is super-sleek looking and fits in your hand so you can take it anywhere. Get accurate readings (+/- 1.5dB) on a clear LED display. Don’t worry about wasting battery life; it shuts off automatically after 10 minutes.

The Tacklife is another very economical model. You get all the function you need in a dB sound meter without a hefty price tag. That’s a plus, according to verified reviewers.

Main features of the Tacklife Digital Sound Level Meter include:

  • Measures 30-130dB
  • Accuracy to +/–  1.5dB
  • Backlit LED display
  • Set auto power save, or shut off manually

Bottom Line

Highly accurate yet affordable, the Tacklife is a top choice among reviewers. Easily read decibel measurements on the LED display. It requires a 9V battery, so it’s inexpensive to run, too.

The Tacklife comes with a 2-year warranty against manufacturer defects so you can buy with confidence.

Why We Like It

  • Ultra-modern, nice-looking design

  • Bright backlit LED display allows you to see readings in dark locales

  • Super-accurate decibel readings

  • Very affordable + powerful

Our Rating

 #10

TestHelper 9.7” Wall Hanging Sound Level Decibel Meter

TestHelper 9.7'' Sound Level Meter Tester 30~130db 9.7'' Large Screen LCD Display Wall Hanging Type Decibel Noise Measuring with Alarm (Sound Level Meter)

This sound monitor has a cool rectangular design. Carry it along and let it measure decibel levels wherever you go. Or mount it on the wall if you need continuous sound monitoring.

The large-size display allows you to get an accurate readout in noisy environments. Reviewers say the TestHelper is very accurate (within 1.5 decibels). It also features a beeping alarm to let you know things are getting too loud in the area.

Main features of the TestHelper Decibel Meter include:

  • Conveniently rechargeable
  • 9.7” large screen LCD display
  • Measures 30-130dB
  • Accuracy to +/–  1.5dB

Bottom Line

There’s so much to love about this state-of-the-art decibel meter. It’s big enough to easily see the readout but fits easily in nearly any space. Because it’s squared-off, you can stand it up so you don’t need to actively carry it wherever you go.

There’s a handy tripod mounting screw to make things even easier. The model runs on a DC 5v 1A micro USB.

Why We Like It

  • Rechargeable option is convenient and saves battery life

  • Extremely accurate

  • Easy-to-read, large-size display

  • Alarm beeps at high dB levels

Our Rating


Decibel Meter Buyer’s Guide

Some features of sound meters are necessary for pretty much everyone. Others are a matter of choice. Here are the factors to keep in mind when choosing the best decibel meter.

The Decibel Range

Health professionals say a decibel level of 85 can be dangerous. Exposing yourself to noise at that level for prolonged periods can initiate hearing loss, which may be irreversible.

If you have other concerns or if you already have hearing loss, you may want to choose environments with a sound level even lower than that. But it can be difficult to determine what’s really too loud. So make sure you choose a decibel meter with a very wide noise level detection range (at least up to 100dB).

Portable v. Non-Portable Decibel Meters

Most people want a portable model so they can take it along to the airport, to work environments, or to music concerts. However, if you work or live in (or near) a very noisy environment, you may want a mounted decibel meter instead.

Nearly all of the dB meters we reviewed are portable. Several mount onto tripods, and one can be wall-mounted. In general, hand-held devices will look like landline cordless phones or TV remote controls. Wall mount varieties are flat and rectangular, circular or square.

Additional Options

All you really need for your safety is an accurate decibel level readout, but a few extras are always nice. These may or may not drive up the price of the decibel meter.

We found some great options that have auto-shutoff, data collection, different levels and more, but are still economical. Do your homework and make sure you’re getting a great buy.

Decibel Meter Batteries

Most of the dB meters we reviewed run on easy-to-find batteries (AA, AAA or 9V). Make sure the model you’re buying functions on batteries that are easy and inexpensive to replace. Or choose rechargeable options.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are one of the most important factors to consider when buying a decibel meter. Some sound meters may appear to be nearly identical but have features that set them apart.

Real customer reviews are usually less salesy and more honest than spec sheets. So make sure you find out what other people have to say.

Conclusion

A great decibel meter is one of the best investments you can make toward your hearing health. It’s so much better to prevent hearing loss than to try to correct it once it’s occurred. Whether or not you’re hearing impaired, prevent further damage by buying an affordable, high-performance decibel meter.

We selected the 10 best decibel meters to make your selection easier. The reviews above should give you an idea of what to look for, what pricing to expect, and which features come in handy with dB meters.

Make sure you always know whether you’re in an environment that could compromise your hearing in the future. Your hearing is worth it!

4.75/5 (4)


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